The oxygen generating plant to ensure adequate oxygen supply at NCRHA facilities. (Image courtesy NCRHA)

More assurances that the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) has a functional oxygen system and has a more than adequate supply of oxygen at its facilities. 

The confidence booster was provided in an advisory from the NCRHA, today.

According to NCRHA Chief Executive Officer, Davlin Thomas, the Authority has put a number of systems in place to bolster its oxygen capacity response to surges in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.

“Our team anticipated that there would be challenges as it relates to the supply of oxygen and we put the necessary contingency plans in place to boost our medical capacity to provide oxygen to our patients,” the NCRHA CEO stated. 

Kimberly Rahamut, General Manager of Operations at Arima General Hospital and Caura Hospital. (Image courtesy NCRHA)

And NCRHA General Manager of Operations, Kimberly Rahamut reports on the two oxygen concentrator plants at the Arima General Hospital.

“Oxygen is a vital necessity. We have the necessary mechanisms to not only generate oxygen, but to bottle and distribute oxygen,” she said.

“In fact, through our two Oxygen Concentrator Plants at Arima General Hospital, we have been able to supply all our facilities in the region. The North Central Regional Authority is fully prepared, should any emergency situations were to arise that adversely affected external supply, as a result of the implementation and maintenance of our own intrinsic systems,” she added.

“This expansion of our capacity by 30 percent has been rolled out in tandem with the acquisition of new portable oxygen concentrators, in addition to our ability to bottle oxygen which provides another tier of contingency,” Davlin Thomas reiterated. 

Dr. Ravi Lalla, Medical Chief of Staff, Arima General Hospital. (Image courtesy NCRHA)

Medical Chief of Staff at the Arima General Hospital, Dr. Ravi Lalla, explained that the NCRHA, has routinely sought to boost its medical capacity to engage COVID-19 through critical research and innovation. 

Technical teams at the NCRHA consistently measure and record oxygen consumption levels at facilities to assess average daily intake. With the use of data, oxygen tanks are filled internally at the Arima General Hospital to make certain that there is always a minimum 24-hour supply of oxygen available, especially for high utilization wards such as ICU and HDU. 

“Ensuring that we have robust capacity to provide oxygen is a priority—whether generally, or in cases of a shortage of supply at the hospital,” Dr Lalla noted.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to improve and enhance the patient care experience. This has always been our priority. Our oxygen tanks, our oxygen banks, our bottling systems—which we have increased internally to meet and exceed current operational capacity—are all engaged to protect and preserve lives,” Dr Lalla stated.

The NCRHA also has increased the number of oxygen bottles being filled internally at the Arima General Hospital’s oxygen plants, so that supplies can meet the growing demand that exists as a result of the COVID-19 surge. In addition, the plant facilitates the operational demand for oxygen for all other facilities in the North Central Region.

The NCRHA also has added new free standing, portable oxygen concentrators—devices that convert oxygen from normal air as an additional contingency, to better arm its medical personnel to treat and engage its patients who require critical oxygen intervention, in the absence of hospital-enabled oxygen supply. 

The oxygen cylinders in the Oxygen Reserve Room at the Arima General Hospital, a third-tier contingency to ensure adequate oxygen supply at NCRHA facilities. (Image courtesy NCRHA)

At present, the Arima General Hospital has two Oxygen Concentrator Plants, which generate oxygen that is stored in an oxygen storage tank that then delivers oxygen, which is piped throughout the hospital. In the event of too high a demand, failure of a Concentrator or other malfunction, the reserve bank automatically switches into operation. The oxygen from this bank is also piped throughout the hospital.

As a third-tier contingency, there are additional 220cf oxygen cylinders in the Oxygen Reserve Room, not connected to the bank but filled in case required for emergency use.